Home of Charles Darwin - Down House

Home of Charles Darwin - Down House is currently closed but we hope to reopen on 3 December for pre-booked visits. From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December we will be keeping a selection of our sites open for local visitors and Members. These sites all have large outdoor spaces, and they can be opened in a way that protects the health of all our visitors, staff and volunteers. We have additional safety measures in place at all of our sites including social distancing, enhanced cleaning and limits on visitor numbers. You will need to book in advance in order to visit, and we ask everyone to please bear in mind the government’s latest advice on essential journeys before you plan your visit. To find out which sites are open, how to book tickets and what to expect when you visit click on the links below. We hope to resume our normal winter opening times from 3rd December, and will update you when we have more news. If you have a booking for while we are closed you will be automatically refunded within 10 working days.

What you need to know

We've made some changes to help keep you safe, and things might be a little different when you visit. We may need to continue making changes as we follow continually evolving Government advice, so we recommend checking this information before your visit. Here's everything you need to know.

  • Do we need to Book?

    Advance booking is now essential. We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. Make sure you've read our ticketing FAQ before you book.

    Book Tickets

    Booking FAQs

  • What parts of the site are closed?

    House - Some rooms may remain closed to keep to social distancing guidelines.

    Glass Houses - Due to their enclosed spaces the glass house and laboratory will remain closed.

  • What changes have you made to your facilities?

    House - The house is open with a one way route and limited capacity inside. Some rooms may remain closed for your safety. Visitors will need to wear face masks when inside the house.

    Cafe - The tea room will be open offering a takeaway service of light refreshments. There is no internal seating available and limited outdoor seating.

    Shop - The shop will be open with limited numbers of shoppers at any one time.

    Toilets - Our toilets are open as usual. Additional hand sanitising stations will be available on site.

    Access - Please note tat some pathways including the sandwalk can be difficult for wheelchair users due to loose gravel.

    Plan your Visit

  • How are you keeping us safe?

    We've made a number of changes to help keep you safe. Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.

    You can visit our reopening page for information on general safety measures we've taken to help keep you safe.

    General Safety Information

  • Do I need to wear a face covering?

    Face coverings must be worn in all indoor areas. We won't be able to provide you with a face covering, so please come prepared so you don't miss out.

Guidebook: Down House

Price: £4.00

 Down House Timeline

1838-42Family Home

Charles Darwin marries Emma Wedgwood. They move into Down House to accommodate their growing family.

Find out more about the Darwins and Down House

1842-6Early Scientific Research

Darwin completes his trilogy on South America's geology, and begins his classification of barnacles and his garden experiments.

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